Reviews - Rifles

Gun Reviews By Gals for Gals - Rossi Ciruit Judge


Rossi Circuit Judge Rifle


The definition of gun review as pertaining to these pages means Christine’s opinion of the particular firearm being “reviewed”.

Caliber - 410 ga./ 45 Long Colt

Price –  New some where between 450.00 and 600.00

Barrel length – 18.5"

Weight - 4.45 lbs

Maximum capacity – 5

Action - Single/double


It's a revolver...........It's a rifle.........No, it's the Rossi Circuit Judge!  Not mentioning the fact that the Rossi Circuit Judge is just darn right cool looking what else would be the advantage to this "too long to be a gun and seems too short to be a rifle" rifle.  Well where do I begin?  From the first time I laid eyes on this rifle I wanted one.  Do I have one as of yet?  No, but my friend does.  And as with all good friends she shared with me.

I will admit the initial attraction to this rifle was the darn right coolness of it's looks.  You can picture yourself out on the homestead patrolling the range and what-not but outside of the looks it still has advantages.  The best advantage is one of the reasons I helped my friend choose this as her fence-to-home self-defense rifle.

This particular friend of mine is in her mid-70's and had purchased a Smith and Wesson Body Guard for her home defense weapon which initially seems like an okay idea until we got to discussing the subject a little further in depth.  My friend considers home defense as from the inside of her front yard fence all the way to include her house.  This is not unusual as we like to keep all of our property safe and do not want "middle of the night" intruders having free reign from the fence to the front door.  This is especially so when the front fence is locked and therefore anyone that enters without the owner's knowledge is now trespassing.

I know you are saying what does any of this have to do with a gun review - I'm getting there.  There are several reasons this rifle is an excellent idea for a home defense rifle.  Starting with -

  • With PDX1 self-defense shells you get excellent strike with the ammo without the fear of the neighbors across the street feeling your strike also.  The PDX1 ammo which can be used when you have the 410 ga choke in the rifle.  The effective distance with this particular ammunition in this rifle is roughly 20 - 25 feet.  Turns out this is right within the distance from my friends house door to her front gate.
  • My friend has a hard time sighting the rifle due to eyesight so aiming is kind of iffy sometimes.  For this reason I felt she needed something that had a "wider reach"  (if you know what I mean).  the spread of the PDX1 410 ga at the afore mentioned distance is wide enough to get a good hit on someone without hitting much else.  I know you are saying so far I am really talking about the ammo and not the rifle but it is this rifle that makes this ammo work so well for home defense.
  • A normal shot gun has a longer barrel and is harder to maneuver and for some people to fire.  The Rossi Circuit Judge is exceptionally easy to fire as you have the choice to shoot single or double action.  So if you want a longer steady trigger pull you've got it and if you want a light and fast trigger pull you've got it.
  • If you aim it at it - it will hit it.  The Rossi Circuit Judge really almost doesn't even need to be aimed.  If you point it in that direction it hits it.  I am serious you would be shocked how well it does just pointing in the direction of the target.  That's the wonderful thing about having the length of the barrel
  • The recoil is almost non-existent.  If a woman in her mid-70's can fire this rifle and not complain about the recoil then I think that about says it all. Not only did she not complain but she actually said she was surprised that is was sooooooo light.

Rossi did a brilliant job taking a pistol from history and turning it into a rifle of the future with looks from the past.  The rifle just looks nostalgic and the design is classic.

I know you are say "But what about the 45 colt part of the rifle how does that work?"  The 45 colt choke in the rifle also works flawlessly.  Would I use it for protecting my front yard in town?  No probably not.  Would I use it for self-defense inside my house?   Well it might not be my first choice for self-defense inside my house but with the Glacier Safety Slugs I might consider it. 

So what would I use the 45 colt part of this rifle for?  I haven't used it for this purpose but from what I have read it is great for hunting.  If I had one of my own I would use it on our hunting property for hunting and protection as it is forested land and I would have little concern over a bullet traveling too far unimpeded.

Now is there anything I do not like about this rifle?  Yes, there actually is but it is minor.  It is one of those things that once you do it and realize that it is not really a flaw in the design but something you have to learn and know is there.  If you have your hand too close to the deflector on the rifle you will get powder burns.  My friend is on the short side and therefore has slightly short arms.  She initially placed her hand closer up on the barrel guard and found out quickly that is not a good place for her hand when she fired the gun she got a powder burn.

There is actually another thing I think is actually a design flaw.   There is a deflector on the chamber for obvious reasons but when you go to empty the cylinder with the ejector it actually strikes the deflector and does not allow for all of the shell casings to be ejected at once.  It's a minor thing that you simply turn the cylinder a time or two to finish ejecting the shell casings.  For sporting purposes this is not even an issue but for home defense if you needed a quick reload it could be an issue.

Over all I think this rifle is super - I think they need to look at the deflector issue but I would bet this is an issue that could be easily enough corrected.  I have not taken a really close look at what it would take to fix it.  I am guessing with enough input on this problem to Rossi it will be fixed before you know it.

Let's just say you wouldn't want to be this fellow down here :



Pin It

Add comment

Security code